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Race Result

Racer: Mike Tine
Race: Eagleman
Date: Sunday, June 12, 2005
Location: Cambridge, MD
Race Type: Triathlon - Half Ironman
Age Group: Male 30 - 34
Time: 5:46:02
Overall Place: 660 / 1365
Age Group Place: 101 / 149
Comment: Hot and tired

Race Report:

I finished. Which was in doubt by about mile 2 of the run. It took about 1/4 mile of convincing myself to keep going. By this point, I had already had 2 bouts of quad cramping, 1 bout of hamstring cramping, an aching cut on my right foot, dizziness, and chills. Thankfully, the dizziness and chills were relatively minor. So I persevered and finished. The whole report is below:

Starting this race, I felt a major lack of preparation. Due to travel (work and 10-year anniversary trip to Italy), work, and my general attitude this year of "I'll work out doing what I want when I want," I hadn't trained nearly enough. As an example, in the several weeks leading up to the event, I'd managed to do some shorter hill runs in Italy, but had only gotten in 2 rides of under 50 miles and 3 swim sessions (1 per week). Prior to that, I hadn't swum much at all either. Or biked. Or run. But, I decided to do the best I could do.

As I was walking to the swim, I somehow managed to cut my right foot on something. It was more a deep piece of torn skin, but it hurt. I raced back into transition before it closed, grabbed some moleskin, and tried to put it on. It wouldn't stick. Oh well.

I started far out to the right of the swim, and mainly sighted off of the crowd to my left. This worked great. However, my first 250-500 yards had me breathing rather heavily as I hadn't really warmed up. But then I settled into a rhythm and swam towards the boat. After the turn, the waves seemed to pick up. I had a very difficult time sighting the buoys, and there wasn't really anyone to whom to sight. I also had to weave around some people from the prior wave. But all in all, I had a pretty decent swim, and finished in the top 25% of my age group.

As I got out, I had a nice jog to my transition site. It took me a little while to get everything set (gel flasks, fig newtons in my shirt; shoes on, helmet on, sunglasses on), but I was out in a decent transition. On the bike, the wind made it necessary to stay in a tuck. I was moving along okay, though. But, due to this position, my glutes started feeling as though someone was stabbing them. I attribute this to lack of stretching of my hamstrings, and the position putting a lot of stress on my hamstrings. As a result, I had to sit up in normal riding position when the wind wasn't too bad, and trying to massage out the pain. Once we turned to ride with the wind a little more, I could sit up some more, and did this for about 10 miles. Then, after having seen the one and only evidence of drafting the whole race (GREAT job by the officials this time, and great morals by the racers), I got mad. I normally wouldn't, but this guy drafted for at least 10 miles! Anyway, this pushed me to finish strong in a tuck without really noticing the pain. Unfortunately, I don't think I ate or drank enough during the bike.

I was having a decent transition, but tried to leave a gel flask in my pocket. This didn't seem comfortable, so I ran back to my spot and dropped it off. This caused a delay and a slow transition. When I began the run, I felt REALLY tired, but I was surprised to find my legs not cramping. That lasted all of 2/3 of a mile. At that point, my quads cramped. When I stopped to try to stretch them out, my hamstrings cramped (note to self, always stretch hamstrings before stretching quads - this happens to me every time!). Once these were all stretched out after a 1-2 minute stop, I continued running, still REALLY tired. Then, at the 1.1 mile point (marked as 1 mile), I stopped in the port-o-potty, then stretched the quads again, then grabbed water, gatorade, and ice. Ice down the shirt, drink the other 2. During mile 2, I started getting some minor chills and minor lightheadedness. I almost quit. But I talked myself out of that - twice - and decided that I was far enough up that I could walk the whole thing if necessary. I would not DNF. So I began the 3minute run, 3minute walk part of my race. I'd adjust this as necessary to walk through the water stops. At each of these, I got water and either Gatorade or Pepsi. I'd walk until I finished it. At every other stop, I'd get ice for my hat. Thankfully, this helped me start to feel better, hence my belief that I hadn't eaten or drank enough on the bike (2 bottles of GU2O, and 2 bottles of water, 1 Hammergel flask). As a result, I ramped up to 4min run, 3min walk. After the turn around, this became 5min run, 3min walk, again adjusting as necessary for water stops. The mile markers were WAAAAAAAAAY off! The first/last 3 miles were really long. The middle few were really short. Made for some strange splits, but otherwise it was okay.

Things I learned from this race:

Stretch hamstrings and back prior to the race - A LOT.
Do swim warmup beforehand, if possible.
Practice eating on the bike in practice (while tucked) so the body gets used to it, and be sure to eat/drink on a schedule on the bike.
Practice biking in the tuck more often.
Book hotel early, early, early. Holiday Inn Express looks nice, and it's close.
Walk in sandals to start of swim.